Having fallen in love with the show this memoir is based on, I figured I would write up a review before the second series airs.
Heads up! Here be spoilers!
My Fat, Mad, Teenage Diary is a compendium of journal entries by a young, overweight, depressed, funny woman named Rae Earl. Her diary recaps how she spent the year 1989 and the ups and downs of friendships, school and never having a boy to call her own.
We follow Rae as she traverses friends who turn out to be enemies, and enemies who turn into the best of friends. We see her struggle with a mother who only wants the best for her but has a slightly sideways way of showing it. And we see her deal successfully (and sometimes not as successfully) with people who try to tear her down just because she's different.
Through it all, Rae maintains her truthful, outrageously funny voice. This doesn't mean, however, that we don't see her down. We see her down a lot, and it hurts because it is so easy to not only sympathize with her but empathize as well.
This book hit pretty close to home for me.
Going on this ride with Rae became stressful for me, as her words echoed through my head, reminding me of similar thoughts and feelings. It's like we'd both taken walks inside the others head and came up with the same conclusion: being a teenager sucks and having extra weight on can completely change your world.
And yet, something about the story was oddly uplifting, despite Rae's hardships.
Having the book be autobiographical helped enforce an idea that many people spout but is often hard to believe: you're not alone.
Someone is always going through what you're going through, even though you may not know them. Though your feelings may take over, it is nice to know that someone else has made it to the other side, and because of that, you can find it in yourself to succeed as well.
Though at times repetitive, and with an ending so abrupt it rivals the finale of The Sopranos, Rae Earl's adventures will make you feel all spectrums of emotion and by the end, you'll be glad to have taken the ride with her.